The Silent Season of a Hero
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The Silent Season of a Hero

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  16 reviews
One of America's most acclaimed writers and journalists, Gay Talese has been fascinated by sports throughout his life. At age fifteen he became a sports reporter for his Ocean City High School newspaper; four years later, as sports editor of the University of Alabama's "Crimson-White," he began to employ devices more common in fiction, such as establishing a "scene" with m...more
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Published October 4th 2010 by Walker Books Ltd (first published August 24th 2010)
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Desiree Koh
In 2000, I took "Literary Journalism" with Craig Vetter at school, and it told me what kind of a writer I wanted to be. That was when I started my subscription to "The New Yorker" and have received the magazine for the 11 years since, without respite. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a fiction writer and I have closets full of great novels with beginning chapters that went nowhere. I went to journalism school because my high school counselor told me it would at least guarantee a paycheck an...more
Although I check the sports pages of my local paper for baseball scores, I don't read much sports-writing that is not about baseball. The title piece is a profile of Joe DiMaggio fifteen years after his retirement, so technically it is about baseball, but most of these pieces, long or short, are about sports I have little or no interest in. They are fascinating reading, however, because Talese never wrote for sports aficionados. All of these pieces tell stories about people, people as obscure as...more
Brendan O'Meara
Love Talese's essay at the start and the openings by editor Michael Rosenwald. The actual DiMaggio profile "Silent Season of a Hero" is my all-time favorite profile, more so than "Frank Sinatra has a Cold".

Talese, in many, many ways, is my hero. I seek to emulate him in many ways, right down to the threads. In this game of writing, he's my DiMaggio and this might just be his silent season. It comes for us all.
Reading this book made me depressed about sports, sports journalism and, by extension, journalism and by further extension journalism.

Talese is arguably one of the best at writing about sports, but so what? So what the he wrote some telling pieces about Floyd Patterson that made him seem human. So what thet he can tell me how Joe Dimaggio ages? So what that he can illustrate that Muhammad Ali was declining somewhat gracefully in Cuba where the dictator was faring similarly?

I mean, this is near t...more
I am a big Gay Talese fan. This new collection of his sports writing includes some of his better known, beautifully written pieces such as his profiles of Joe Louis and Joe Di Maggio, both originally published in Esquire. I had never read most of the work in this new book, much of it from the New York Times, going back to the 1950s. Editor Michael Rosenwald includes some Talese stories about a few female athletes like Gerry Murray, a roller derby skater; Judy Frank, a golf champion; and Lui Yin...more
Collection of Talese's sports writing going all the way back to the columns he wrote for his high school paper.

Talese found his best subject by far in Floyd Patterson whose intelligence comes right off of the page and stands in sharp contrast to other subjects of Talese such as Joe DiMaggio, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali.

Talese was a dabbler in sports and doesn't really get inside his milieu the way boxing writers such as A. J. Liebling, John Lardner and W. C. Heinz did and he certainly doesn't wr...more
Holly Cline
Yeah I loved this. I found myself wanting to read 'just one more piece' nearly every time I picked up the book until I was finished. Gay Talese certainly has a way of bringing his athlete subjects to life. They become human and sad rather than mere giants of sport and celebrity. My favorite selection is The Kick She Missed. I like it so much that I want to read the book it originally comes from. Other notables are the entire Floyd Patterson series and of course The Silent Season of a Hero. If I...more
I appreciated Talese's narrative approach to his stories and his unique perspective. He never followed the big stories or the superstars, but looked for the athlete in the shadows and illuminated his or her story. I especially liked his story on Floyd Patterson entitled "The Loser." You felt like you knew the former champion like a friend after reading it. Most of the earlier articles I didn't enjoy. In fact, I wasn't struck by his writing until about p. 111 when some of his longer pieces from E...more
Loved some of the stories here like, "The Loser," recounting Floyd Patterson and his interaction with bullies at his daughter's school, Liston, and not looking opponents in the eye. Also loved "Joe Louis: The King as a Middle Aged Man," and of course, "Silent Season of a Hero," with DiMaggio in all of his quintessential American male splendor and greatness. Other stories were less memorable, but well worth the time.
Marty Tomlinson
Talese is probably the best, and most influential, magazine writer of the 2nd half of the twentieth century, and this is a great collection of some of his best sports features, including some of his boxing pieces -- "The Loser," about Floyd Patterson, "Ali in Havana," and "The King as a Middle-Aged Man," about Joe Louis. Plus, the titular piece, about a retired, mercurial Joe DiMaggio. Great, great stuff.
An accumulation of articles by Gay Talese, a long-time sports writer. Under the appropriate moniker of literary journalism, Talese explores aspects of sports not typically encountered with other sports writers. I especially liked his pieces on "Race, Reporters, and Responsibility", the Heiden's, Joe Dimaggio, and Muhammed Ali's visit to Cuba and Castro.
Joe Drape
This collection is arranged chronologically, which allows us to see the growth of a craftsman from his college newspapering days into a writer at height of the "New Journalism." It's encouraging to all who toil at the typewriter to see hard work and lived in wisdom continues to show on the page.
Robert Greenberger
While mainly a baseball guy, my wife gave me this for my birthday and I devoured it because of Talese's unusual choices for subject matter and wonderful writing style.
Enjoyed it from so many different aspects: insights, history, sports.
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Gay Talese is an American author. He wrote for The New York Times in the early 1960s and helped to define literary journalism or "new nonfiction reportage", also known as New Journalism. His most famous articles are about Joe DiMaggio, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
More about Gay Talese...
Thy Neighbor's Wife Honor Thy Father The Gay Talese Reader: Portraits and Encounters Fame and Obscurity The Kingdom and the Power: Behind the Scenes at The New York Times: The Institution That Influences the World

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